Giving thanks

A lot of people complain about mass sentiments of gratitude on days like Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. They assert that we should be more conscientious every day, that we should not limit our thanks to specific days of the year. Much like forgetting to celebrate an artist, author or actor until hearing news of their death, it seems we should feel guilty for not being more appreciative on the regular.

I say: Fuck you. It’s human nature. We all take everything for granted. We can’t help it. We’re always in the midst of doing, and sure, it sucks that we don’t take the time out to think about how awesome it is that we are doing these things (note: I often do), nor thank the people who have enabled the awesomeness, but that doesn’t mean that in the backs of our minds, we don’t know that. If I had the means or the mental capability to remember to do so, I’d send my girlfriend flowers every day of her life. But the fact I don’t doesn’t mean I love her any less.

That being said, you whining bastards are right. I don’t disagree. I just resent you for being smug enough to call me out on suddenly being thoughtful because everything around me is shouting reminders all of the sudden, when I know damn well you’re just as guilty as am I. However, after listening to last night’s episode of American Public Media’s The Story last night, I do think y’all have a point.

The always-affable Dick Gordon chatted with Rais Bhuiyan, who was shot point blank in the face with a double-barreled shotgun about 10 years ago by a white supremacist motherfucker. By the grace of Allah, fate, or dumb luck, Bhuiyan not only survived, but fully recuperated, moved forward with his life, and then did something none of us would probably do: He dedicated his time to preventing his attacker (who also murdered two other “Arabs” in cold blood) from getting executed by the state. For real, go listen to that shit.

The point is: Bhuiyan is so thankful for life, so appreciative of its beauty regardless of whether you experience it in a house, hospital or prison, that he couldn’t stand to see the man who tried to hatefully murder him be deprived of his right to live it. That’s some powerful stuff. And it just makes me realize how much I take what most would consider to be a pretty good life for granted.

I really do try to stay positive and minimize my complaining (except when Photoshop crashes, you know that is the WORST) — Lord knows there’s enough of that on the internet — but I still feel like maybe I don’t show utter appreciation enough. For my ever-patient girlfriend Sara. For my bountiful friends and acquaintances. For this city that can be soul-sucking as hell, but has been culturally and financially good to me. For our amazing house. For my only half-crazy-in-a-mostly-amusing-way family. For growing up in relatively safe neighborhoods, in a not-too-traumatic household. For having a good education (and the debt to prove it). For having a healthy body, a sound mind, and natty fashion sense. For having continued gainful employment all of my adult life. For the nutty talents with which I was born that you suckers endure day in and out.

For all of it, folks. Every damn thing.

What about you?

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